Xiaomi has MediaTek Helio P60/P70 chips lined up for its 2018 devices
Xiaomi started off the year on a strong note with the releases of the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi Mix 2S. Both devices, the Redmi Note 5 Pro particularly, already look like excellent devices in their price brackets. They also feature the very best SoCs in their respective segments, which is a major factor in them being such attractive propositions. While the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi Mix 2S opt for Snapdragon SoCs, we could be set to see some Xiaomi devices go the MediaTek route this year.
Xiaomi has long had ties with MediaTek. The company's last device with a MediaTek SoC was the Redmi Note 4—released in August 2016— but that variant never hit the highs of its Snapdragon counterpart. In spite of that, the company will make a return to its MediaTek ways this year, with sources claiming the company is set to place orders for the new Helio P60 and P70 SoCs.
The P60 and P70 are impressive chipsets, by all standards. The P70, for example, has performance values close to that of the Snapdragon 660, which is excellent for an SoC that will be used on upper mid-range devices. Do note that the Helio P70 is actually MediaTek's top of the line SoC for the year—so far—after the massive failure that was the Helio X-series.
According to the source, Xiaomi will launch a device with the Helio P60 in Q2, and one with the P70 later in the year. OEMs like Vivo and Meizu are also billed to adopt the Helio P60 in their upcoming devices, after OPPO set the pace with its newly launched R15.
The P60 and P70 are both built on TSMC's 12nm manufacturing process, so efficiency shouldn't be much of an issue. Of more concern to us is MediaTek's indignant stance on releasing sources and libraries for its chipsets. Project Treble support does help with that, however, but we're not sure if it entirely invalidates that quibble.